Title:
Chord based method of assigning musical pitches to keys
United States Patent 8802955


Abstract:
Improvisation or playing along with a musical group or with a song is enjoyable to people and musicians of all ability levels. However, it is easy to play notes which do not harmonize with other notes and pitches which are being played. Provided herein is a method, computer program product and electronic device for assigning a set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device. The method may include the steps of obtaining an input chord, disassembling the chord into at least one base note and a plurality of individual voices, arranging a predetermined number of voices of the chord according to at least one predefined rule, and assigning at least one set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device, said set of pitches corresponding to the base note and arranged predetermined number of voices of the chord. The present method allows a musician to freely play along without the possibility of playing an errant note as the user does not control the actual pitch associated with the physical keys being played.



Inventors:
Bergman, Jussi (Helsinki, FI)
Application Number:
13/739023
Publication Date:
08/12/2014
Filing Date:
01/11/2013
Assignee:
BergGram Development (Helsinki, FI)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
84/615, 84/637, 84/653, 84/669
International Classes:
G10H1/18
Field of Search:
84/613, 84/615, 84/637, 84/653, 84/669
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
8465366Biasing a musical performance input to a part2013-06-18Applewhite et al.463/36
8017850Electronic musical instrument having ad-lib performance function and program for ad-lib performance function2011-09-13Kurebayashi84/609
20100224051ELECTRONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENT HAVING AD-LIB PERFORMANCE FUNCTION AND PROGRAM FOR AD-LIB PERFORMANCE FUNCTION2010-09-09Kurebayashi84/637
7465866Assistive apparatus and computer-readable medium storing computer program for playing music2008-12-16Ueki et al.84/613
20070240559MUSICAL TONE SIGNAL GENERATING APPARATUS2007-10-18Hasebe84/637
7196260Entry of musical data in a mobile communication device2007-03-27Schultz84/613
20040112203Assistive apparatus, method and computer program for playing music2004-06-17Ueki et al.84/613
6448486Electronic musical instrument with a reduced number of input controllers and method of operation2002-09-10Shinsky84/613
6441289Fixed-location method of musical performance and a musical instrument2002-08-27Shinsky84/464R
6372975Fixed-location method of musical performance and a musical instrument2002-04-16Shinsky84/612
6201178On-the-fly note generation and a musical instrument2001-03-13Shinsky84/613
6156966Fixed-location method of composing and performing and a musical instrument2000-12-05Shinsky84/657
6156965Fixed-location method of composing and performing and a musical instrument2000-12-05Shinsky84/650
6057503Fixed-location method of composing and performing and a musical instrument2000-05-02Shinsky84/657
6046396Stringed musical instrument performance information composing apparatus and method2000-04-04Miyamoto84/613
5777251Electronic musical instrument with musical performance assisting system that controls performance progression timing, tone generation and tone muting1998-07-07Hotta et al.84/609
5650584Fixed-location method of composing and performing and a musical instrument1997-07-22Shinsky84/657



Primary Examiner:
Warren, David S.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Seppo Laine Oy
Wert, Joshua P.
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A method of assigning a set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys, said method comprising the computer implemented steps of; obtaining an input chord, disassembling the chord into at least one base note and a plurality of individual voices, arranging a predetermined number of voices of the chord according to at least one predefined rule, assigning at least one set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device, said set of pitches corresponding to the base note and arranged predetermined number of voices of the chord, selecting an anchor key, having associated therewith an anchor pitch, from the plurality of physical keys of the electronic device, and wherein the predetermined number of voices of the chord are arranged in relation to the anchor pitch according to at least one predefined rule such that the anchor pitch is the highest pitch of the set of pitches and the predetermined number of voices are arranged to be the closest possible corresponding lower pitches with regards to the anchor pitch.

2. A method according to claim 1, wherein the input chord is; typed in alphanumeric format into a text box, loaded in alphanumeric format from a text file, retrieved from an audio source by using a chord detection algorithm or created from an audio file.

3. A method according to claim 1, wherein; the chord is input or converted into an alphanumeric format, for each chord the corresponding base note and a plurality of voices are predefined and stored in a computer readable memory, and the chord is disassembled by retrieving the base note and plurality of voices corresponding to the alphanumeric format of the input chord from the computer readable memory.

4. A method according to claim 1, wherein the chord is disassembled in to one base note and three or four additional voices.

5. A method according to claim 1, wherein the predetermined number of voices of the chord is four, and wherein when a chord has only three most important voices, a fourth voice is added, said fourth voice corresponding to the arranged pitch closest to the anchor pitch which has been transposed down one octave.

6. A method according to claim 1, wherein the anchor key is predetermined and chord independent.

7. A method according to claim 1, wherein the anchor key is selected separately from the chord or is based on the chord.

8. A method according to claim 1, wherein if one of said predetermined number of voices corresponds with the anchor pitch, said corresponding voice is transposed down one octave.

9. A method according to claim 1, wherein the arranged predetermined number of voices of the chord are ordered in relation to their distance from an anchor key, wherein the first ordered arranged voice corresponds to the arranged voice furthest from the anchor key.

10. A method according to claim 9, wherein; the plurality of physical keys of the electronic device are preassigned to correspond to either; a base note, first ordered arranged voice, second ordered arranged voice, third ordered arranged voice or fourth ordered arranged voice, and the base note and arranged and ordered predetermined number of voices of the chord are assigned to their respective physical keys of the electronic device.

11. A method according to claim 10, further comprising; obtaining a new input chord, disassembling the new chord into at least one base note and a plurality of individual voices, arranging a predetermined number of voices of the chord according to at least one predefined rule and reassigning a new set of pitches corresponding to the new base note and new arranged predetermined number of voices of the new chord to said plurality of physical keys of the electronic device in response to an event.

12. A method according to claim 11, wherein said event is a user pressing a predefined physical key, the elapsing of a predetermined length of time or the change of chords to the new chord in an audio source.

13. A method according to claim 1, wherein; the set of pitches includes pitches within a single octave, and assigning at least one additional set of pitches, wherein said additional sets of pitches corresponds to the set of pitches in another octave or octaves, to a plurality of physical keys of the electronic device representative of a corresponding octave.

14. A method according to claim 1, further comprising the step of outputting a pitch when a physical key of an electronic device is pressed which corresponds to the assigned pitch from the set of pitches.

15. A non-transitory computer readable medium having stored there on a set of computer executable instructions for assigning a set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device, said instructions for causing a processor to; obtain an input chord, disassemble the chord into at least one base note and a plurality of individual voices, arrange a predetermined number of voices of the chord according to at least one predefined rule, assign at least one set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device, said set of pitches corresponding to the base note and arranged predetermined number of voices of the chord, selecting anchor key, having associated therewith an anchor pitch, from the plurality of physical keys of the electronic device, and wherein the predetermined number of voices of the chord are arranged in relation to the anchor pitch according to at least one predefined rule such that the anchor pitch is the highest pitch of the set of pitches and the predetermined number of voices are arranged to be the closest possible corresponding lower pitches with regards to the anchor pitch.

16. An electronic device having a plurality of physical keys, a processor and a computer readable storage medium, said computer readable storage medium having stored there on a set of computer executable instructions for assigning a set of pitches to a plurality of said physical keys, said instructions for causing the processor to; obtain an input chord, disassemble the chord into at least one base note and a plurality of individual voices, arrange a predetermined number of voices of the chord according to at least one predefined rule, assign at least one set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device, said set of pitches corresponding to the base note and arranged predetermined number of voices of the chord, select an anchor key, having associated therewith an anchor pitch, from the plurality of physical keys of the electronic device, and wherein the redetermined number of voices of the chord are arranged in relation to the anchor pitch according to at least one predefined rule such that the anchor pitch is the highest pitch of the set of pitches and the predetermined number of voices are arranged to be the closest possible corresponding lower pitches with regards to the anchor pitch.

17. An electronic device according to claim 16, wherein the electronic device further comprises; a predefined set of base notes and voices corresponding to a plurality of chords stored on said computer readable storage medium, and a midi manipulation database, stored on said computer readable storage medium, for outputting pitches associated with actuated physical keys.

18. An electronic device according to claim 16, wherein the electronic device is an electronic musical keyboard and the plurality of physical keys are the black keys.

19. An electronic device according to claim 16, wherein the electronic device is or has a computer keyboard and the plurality of physical keys are at least a plurality of the computer keyboard keys which have been mapped to corresponding keys on a musical keyboard.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to the field of playing music on an electronic device. More particularly, embodiments of the present invention relate to the arrangement and distribution of pitches to input devices of electronic devices which are not commensurate with the input device's natural pitches. Examples of the present invention are particularly well suited for beginner and intermediate musician improvisation, wherein the musician can play along with predefined chords or music without the possibility of playing a note which is not in harmony with the rest of the music.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Improvisation, playing along with a musical group or to a song/audio file is enjoyable to people and musicians of all ability levels. However, as anyone who has tried this knows, it is easy to play notes which do not harmonize with other notes and pitches which are being played.

This is due to the fact that music is played within the confines of chords, and with chord progressions. Chords have a series of predefined sharp and flat notes, at predefined intervals, which when played properly are harmonious. However, it takes much training and practice in order to learn all of the rules of chord construction and harmonization. This can be daunting to musicians without the necessary skills. Additionally, even for skilled musicians, other tasks such as singing, performing and/or playing multiple instruments simultaneously may lead to the errant not being played, which can stand out to even the most untrained ear.

Therefore, there exists a need to ensure that musicians of all ability levels are able to play music, and to control virtually all aspects of play, without needing to worry about the complex rules of chord construction, chord progression and harmony. Several attempts have been made to this end but have failed in certain aspects. Within prior art solutions, the user must either be advanced enough that they are able to input the proper chord, and change chords at the proper time, which is more advanced than many lower level musicians, or the prior art solutions limit to much of the user's ability to improvise and express themselves as they wish.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a method of assigning a set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device.

It is an aspect of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a method including the steps of obtaining an input chord, disassembling the chord, wherein the chord can be disassembled into at least one base note and a plurality of individual voices, arranging a predetermined number of voices of the chord according to at least one predefined rule, and assigning at least one set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device, said set of pitches corresponding to the base note and arranged predetermined number of voices of the chord.

Furthermore, it is an object of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a computer program product, and/or a non-transitory computer readable medium having stored there on a set of computer executable instructions for assigning a set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device in accordance with any of the methods described herein.

Still yet, it is an object of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide an electronic device having a plurality of physical keys, a processor and a computer readable storage medium, said computer readable storage medium having stored there on a set of computer executable instructions for assigning a set of pitches to a plurality of said physical keys in accordance with any of the methods described herein.

Examples of certain electronic devices are an electronic musical keyboard with a plurality of white and black keys. Additionally, the electronic device can be, or can have a computer keyboard and the plurality of physical keys are at least a plurality of the computer keyboard keys. The computer keyboard keys can be mapped to corresponding keys on a musical keyboard.

According to certain examples, the plurality of physical keys of the electronic device are preassigned to correspond to certain desired voices, for example to either; a base note, first ordered arranged voice, second ordered arranged voice, third ordered arranged voice or fourth ordered arranged voice. The base note and arranged and optionally ordered predetermined number of voices of the chord can then be assigned to their respective physical keys of the electronic device.

Input chords can come in a variety of types, such as being typed in alphanumeric format into a text box or text editor, either of which being separate from or integral with a computer program product of the present invention, loaded in alphanumeric format from a text file, retrieved from an audio source by using a chord detection algorithm or created from an audio file, wherein the audio file can be recorded, streaming and/or directly retrieved from a microphone and/or input from a live sound.

Additionally, the input chord can change dynamically during play. When a new chord is input, detected or changed, the computer program product can obtain the new input chord, disassembling the new chord into at least one base note and a plurality of individual voices, arranging a predetermined number of voices of the chord according to at least one predefined rule and reassigning a new set of pitches corresponding to the new base note and new arranged predetermined number of voices of the new chord to said plurality of physical keys of the electronic device in response to an event.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a flow chart of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a plurality of examples of pre and post arranged voices.

FIG. 3 shows an example distribution of a set of pitches on the black keys of a musical keyboard.

FIG. 4 shows an example distribution of a set of pitches on the keys of a computer keyboard.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

The present invention generally relates to a way of processing chord progressions for an electronic device. A base note and four voices, typically the three or four most important voices of a chord, regardless of the complexity of the chord are packaged in to a set of pitches which can then be distributed to a plurality of input devices, such as physical keys, of an electronic device. The result of certain embodiments is that a person playing an electronic device can play or improvise music by controlling all aspects of their play besides the actual pitch of each physical key they depress. This allows people to improvise without worrying about playing individual notes which may or may not work within the current chord progression.

As described herein, physical keys are a term representative of all possible input devices which are capable of inputting to an electronic device a person's intent to cause the device, or an auxiliary device, to produce a musical note. Therefore, the term physical keys is utilized to describe the input device of whatever electronic device and/or instrument is present in a given embodiment.

The most basic examples of physical keys are the black and white keys on a musical keyboard. Additionally herein, physical keys may refer simply to only the black, or only the white keys of a musical keyboard. Another common example of physical keys are the keys on a computer keyboard. As will be described in more detail below, the physical keys on a computer keyboard can be assigned corresponding keys to a musical keyboard, thus allowing a person to play notes from a piano or electric musical keyboard directly from their ‘qwerty’ or other computer keyboard. Still further examples include the keys of instruments having keys, such as accordions, or the bars or input pads of electrical or electrically connected percussion instruments, such as, for example, xylophones, vibraphones and glockenspiels. Furthermore, the principles of the present invention may also be extended, for example, to electric stringed instruments such as electric guitars and electric violins. Similarly, the term physical keys also includes all digital implementations and representations of the physical keys mentioned herein. For example, a digital representation of a musical keyboard on a screen of a computing device, wherein the physical keys on the display can be selected, e.g. by a touch screen, by a mouse or other user input device.

A logic unit is disclosed, which when utilized, can guarantee that the independent voices of subsequent chords make only small movements. Additionally, the logic unit, when utilized, can ensure that voices of a chord never cross over each other on a key board. Furthermore, the logic unit is capable of achieving these tasks with a simple set of procedures which allow for real-time processing with little or no lag.

A distributor is disclosed, wherein when utilized, is capable of distributing the base note and additional voices of a chord, in a specific order, to a plurality of physical keys. Therefore, the distributer is capable of assigning specific pitches to, for example, the black keys of a musical keyboard, to certain keys on a computer keyboard, or to any set of user interface elements. Thus, playing and improvising becomes dramatically easier and possible for musicians of all levels, from beginners and those with disabilities to professionals. Regardless of what physical keys are selected, the outcome sounds natural and personal, as if played by an experienced musician.

For example, the individual voices of a single chord (C,F,Dm7,G7,C) in a particular moment in time (t1,t2,t3,t4,t5) can be distributed to the black keys of a musical keyboard so that the keys will not produce their original pitches, i.e. the pitches a piano key would normally produce. Instead, new pitches which are, or correspond to the most important pitches of the ongoing chord are played in their place when a key is depressed. The new pitches and the distribution of the new pitches (voices in a chord) can be implemented so that the chord progression always flows smoothly, regardless of the complexity of chords or chord progressions.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided herein a method of assigning a set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys. The method comprises the computer implemented steps of obtaining an input chord, arranging a number of voices of the chord and assigning at least one set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device.

Additionally, according to certain embodiments of the present invention there is a computer program product, e.g. a non-transitory computer readable medium having stored there on a set of computer executable instructions, for assigning a set of pitches to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device in accordance with the methods disclosed herein.

Moreover, a method may comprise the steps of disassembling the chord into at least one base note and a plurality of individual voices. The voices of the chord may be arranged according to at least one predefined rule, as will be discussed in more detail below. Additionally, the base note and additional voices may form part of, or an entire set of pitches which are thus assigned to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device.

An example of a method in accordance with the present invention is provided in FIG. 1. The method begins by obtaining an input chord 102. The input chord is either converted in to a common naming convention 104 or pass directly on to a disassembler. The disassembler disassembles the input chord in to a predetermined number of desired voices 106. The desired voices are then arranged 108 and either ordered 110 or pass directly on to a distributor. Once the desired voices of the input chord are arranged and optionally ordered, the desired voices are distributed to a plurality of physical keys of an electronic device 112. A user can then play the electronic device by actuating one or more of the plurality of keys. If no change in chord is detected 114 then the pitches which are output 116 correspond to the assigned desired voices of the input chord. If a change in the chord is detected 114 then the system obtains the new chord and repeats the method in order to distribute the new pitches 112 to the plurality of keys.

Chords may be written or pre-written, for example, in a text-editor tool of a computer program product. Additionally, chords can be written or pre-written using alphanumeric representations, e.g. C, CM (for C major), CM6 (for the 6th major C chord), etc, in any type of text file or computer readable file or medium. Many chords and chord progressions for songs can be found in alphanumeric format online and simply copy and pasted in to the present computer program product or uploaded/input in any other well known fashion.

Furthermore, the present computer program product can retrieve, detect and/or create chords. The present computer program product can also retrieve, detect and/or create the transition timing between two or more chords. These things can be accomplished directly or indirectly from audio sources and/or audio files in delayed or real-time. For example, the computer program product can utilize chord detection methods to determine the present chord in a live or recorded audio stream input or accessible to the computer program product or electronic device having the computer program product thereon, e.g. a youtube clip or a midi file from a CD-ROM.

Additionally, universally there are a plurality of chord naming conventions. While the computer program product may be equipped to handle multiple naming conventions directly, for example by having stored desired voices for chords in a plurality of naming conventions, the computer program product may also have a chord naming conversion unit, subunit or chart. Therefore, once a chord is retrieved it can be converted in to a common naming convention. The chord, in the common naming convention format can then be used within the remainder of the steps.

When a chord is detected, input and/or changed, for instance, the logical unit can receive the name of the chord as an input, e.g. Dm9. According to certain examples, the four most important voices of a chord are desired. However, according to certain examples, selected voices which are or are not a part of the four most important voices may be desired.

The desired voices, which for the present examples are the base note and the four most important voices of a chord, can be predefined and stored in a retrievable format such as a database or file of the or accessible to the computer program product. However, any desired voices can be predefined and stored for any give chord. Additionally, the desired voices may be determined or retrieved in another manner by the computer program product.

According to certain embodiments, a chord is input or accessible to the computer program product in alphanumeric format. When the chord is input, or detected/determined in another format, the chord can be translated in to a corresponding alphanumeric format.

For each chord, the corresponding base note and a plurality of voices can be predefined and stored in a computer readable memory. The plurality of voices may be, for example, the four most important voices of a standard chord or the three most important voices of a simple triad, such as CM, Fm, G, etc. The chord can then be disassembled by retrieving the base note and plurality of voices corresponding to the alphanumeric format of the input chord from the computer readable memory.

The desired voices of a chord, e.g. the base note and four most important voices, may be stored in alphabetic, numeric or alphanumeric format. According to certain embodiments, the voices are stored in numeric format, with the numbers corresponding to the keys on a musical keyboard. For example, with C=1, C#/Db=2, D=3 and so on. However, one of ordinary skill will recognize countless manners in which to store the present information in a useful electronic format.

The desired voices for each of a plurality of chords may be directly stored in a computer readable for, such as a database or text file. Additionally, one or more rules for the distribution of desired voices associated with a set of master chords may be stored in computer readable form. The master chords are root key independent, e.g. m7, minor 7th chords. A unit or subunit of the computer program product, and/or the disassemble, can break an input chord in to its root key and its master chord, e.g. Cm7 would be broken into its root key, ‘C’ and its master chord, minor 7th. The rules relating to the distribution of voices for the master chord can then be retrieved from the computer readable form and applied to the root key of the chord. The result is then the retrieval of the desired voices for the particular chord.

The system may also comprise a tuning unit or one or more tuning rules. As regions around the world have different music styles and harmonics, it is possible to tune one or more of the retrieved desired voices to better fit regional requirements without the necessity of determining an entirely new set of desired voices for each chord, or different rules for master chords, based on, e.g. geography.

In the example of an input chord being Dm9, the computer program product would retrieve, from a database accessible to the computer program product, the base note and four most important voices of Dm9, e.g. D, F, A, C & E, which may be retrieved in numeric format, as described above, as 3, 6, 10, 1 & 5. 3, or D would be the base note and 6, 10, 1 & 5 are the four most important voices. The desired voices may be stored and retrieved in any order.

Simple triads have only 3 voices. However, if it is desired to always have a set of 5 voices comprising the base note and four additional important voices, a fourth voice can be added to the three of the simple triad. The addition of a fourth voice will be described in more detail below.

A unit or subunit, which can be the disassembler, can receive the input chord as described above and output the desired voices, e.g. the three or four most important voices and the base note. These desired voices can then be passed to another unit or subunit, for example a re-arranger.

The computer program product may have a re-arranger unit, or a subunit, which is distinct or integrated into any other unit. The re-arranger receives the desired voices as an input and, in accordance with at least one rule, re-arranges some or all of the desired voices in to a set of pitches.

For re-arranging some or all of the desired voices an anchor key is selected. The anchor key preferably has associated therewith an anchor pitch. Additionally, the anchor key is preferably a single key selected from the plurality of physical keys of a electronic device, or a representative physical key, e.g. the F key of a musical keyboard or the F key which has been assigned to a certain key on a computer keyboard.

The anchor key can be predetermined and independent of the input chord(s). Additionally, the anchor key may be the same in every cycle and/or with every input chord. For example, the anchor key can be associated with the anchor pitch F, otherwise denoted numerically as described above as 6. However, the anchor key may change and/or be influenced by one or more input chords.

According to certain embodiments, the desired voices will generally be arranged so that the desired voices will all be lower on a musical keyboard than the anchor pitch. Stated the other way around, the anchor pitch will be the highest pitch compared to the arranged desired voices. If one of the desired pitches is the anchor pitch it may remain at the same level as the anchor pitch or it may be transposed down an octave such that the anchor pitch is the true highest pitch compared to the arranged desired pitches.

Additionally, the desired voices will generally be arranged so that the desired voices will all be as close as possible to the anchor pitch. The arrangement can be accomplished through a variety of methods and programs using a plurality of rules. However, the end result will guarantee that the chord progression flows smoothly and that independent voices in a chord sequence do not cross each other, regardless of chords and chord progressions.

Therefore, according to certain embodiments, a predetermined number of voices of the chord are arranged in relation to the anchor pitch according to at least one predefined rule such that the anchor pitch is the highest pitch of the set of pitches and the predetermined number of voices are arranged to be the closest possible corresponding lower pitches with regards to the anchor pitch.

Furthermore, as described above, simple triads have only one base note and three voices. Therefore, when it is desired to have four voices and a base note, the re-arranger, or another portion of the computer program product, can add a fourth voice. According to one embodiment there is a doubling rule, wherein when a re-arranger receives an input of three voices, or a base note and three voices, the re-arranger will arrange the three voices, or base note and three voices, with respect to the anchor pitch such that the three voices, or base note and three voices, are arranged as close as possible, and below, the anchor pitch. Then the re-arranger, or other portion of the computer program product, will take the arranged voice closest to the anchor pitch, and add a fourth voice corresponding to the closest arranged voice which has been transposed down one octave.

FIG. 2 shows a plurality of examples of the input chords, their desired voices (not including the base note) in their original ordering and then the re-arranged order. Additionally, there are two examples of chords C and F which show the doubling rule.

The voices are arranged around the anchor pitch and then examples of rules utilized in the arrangement are; voices higher than the anchor pitch are transposed down one octave, a voice equal to the anchor pitch is transposed down one octave, voices which are more than one octave below the anchor pitch and which are not doubled are transposed up one octave.

Once the voices have been arranged they can also be simply ordered, either by the re-arranger or some other portion of the computer program product. The order of the arranged voices can be in relation to their distance from an anchor key, wherein the first ordered arranged voice corresponds to the arranged voice furthest from the anchor key. Therefore, a set of voices is created, which may be the output of the re-arranger, which comprises; e.g. the base note and ordered arranged voices, the ordered arranged voices, or the ordered and arranged voices and base note. An example of the arrangement and ordering of input chord Dm7 can be seen in FIG. 3. Additionally, the distribution of the voices with regards to the physical keys can also be seen.

A distributor is provided which can assign the set of voices to a plurality of physical keys of the electronic device. The distributor can maintain and/or have access to a midi manipulation database which has stored the set of voices corresponding to some or all of the physical keys of the electronic device. Therefore, once a user selects or actuates a physical key, the output sound is determined by the distributor and not by what the original pitch of the physical key represents.

According to certain embodiments, the plurality of physical keys of an electronic device are preassigned to correspond to either; a base note, first ordered arranged voice, second ordered arranged voice, third ordered arranged voice or fourth ordered arranged voice. For example, the 5 voices of the set of voices may be assigned to the black keys of a musical keyboard. As there are five black keys on a musical keyboard per octave, then each key can be preassigned to correspond to one of the five voices of the set of voices. E.g. each Db/C# key can always correspond to the base note in the set of voices. Similarly, the Eb/D# key can correspond to the 1st ordered arranged voice of the set of voices, e.g. the one furthest from the anchor key. The Gb/F# key can correspond to the 2st ordered arranged voice of the set of voices, the Ab/G# key can correspond to the 3st ordered arranged voice of the set of voices, and the Bb/A# key can correspond to the 4st ordered arranged voice of the set of voices.

The distribution as described above can then be repeated to some or all octaves on a musical keyboard, i.e. pressing the key Db1 will produce a pitch which is one octave lower than when pressing the key Db2. Similar arrangements can be made for computer keyboards and other electronic devices. For example, on a computer keyboard Gb on the left is always lower in octaves to Gb on the right in the same row of keys. Similarly, as an example, Gb in a row above will always be higher in octaves than Gb on the row below.

Additionally, the input chord can change during play. The input chord can change in a variety of manners. For example, a set of chords, or the chord progression of a song can be input in to the computer program product as described above. The chords may be accompanied by some timing information. In such instances, the input chord can change according to the timing information. Additionally, the chord may be manually changed by the user. For instance, a predetermined physical key, e.g. high or low C on a musical keyboard or the space or enter key on a computer keyboard, can change the input chord to the subsequently loaded chord when pressed. Still yet, if the computer program product detects a change in chord in an audio file or audio stream, the computer program product can change the input chord as appropriate. Numerous other arrangements will be recognized for changing the input chord before, during or after play.

Once a new chord is input, the computer program product can, for example, obtain a new input chord, disassemble the new chord into at least one base note and a plurality of individual voices, and arrange a predetermined number of voices of the chord according to at least one predefined rule and reassigning a new set of pitches corresponding to the new base note and new arranged predetermined number of voices of the new chord to said plurality of physical keys of the electronic device in response to an event.

The computer program product described herein can be loaded on, or accessible to any variety of electronic devices with input means, such as physical keys as described above. According to certain embodiments of the present invention, there are herein provided electronic devices having a plurality of physical keys, a processor and a computer readable storage medium, said computer readable storage medium having stored there on a computer program product as described herein.

The electronic device may further comprise a predefined set of base notes and voices corresponding to a plurality of chords stored on said computer readable storage medium. Still yet, the electronic device may further comprise a midi manipulation database, stored on said computer readable storage medium, for outputting pitches associated with actuated physical keys.

It is to be understood that the embodiments of the invention disclosed are not limited to the particular structures, process steps, or materials disclosed herein, but are extended to equivalents thereof as would be recognized by those ordinarily skilled in the relevant arts. It should also be understood that terminology employed herein is used for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting.

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.

As used herein, a plurality of items, structural elements, compositional elements, and/or materials may be presented in a common list for convenience. However, these lists should be construed as though each member of the list is individually identified as a separate and unique member. Thus, no individual member of such list should be construed as a de facto equivalent of any other member of the same list solely based on their presentation in a common group without indications to the contrary. In addition, various embodiments and example of the present invention may be referred to herein along with alternatives for the various components thereof. It is understood that such embodiments, examples, and alternatives are not to be construed as de facto equivalents of one another, but are to be considered as separate and autonomous representations of the present invention.

Furthermore, the described features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. In the following description, numerous specific details are provided, such as examples of lengths, widths, shapes, etc., to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the invention. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, however, that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, etc. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the invention.

While the forgoing examples are illustrative of the principles of the present invention in one or more particular applications, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications in form, usage and details of implementation can be made without the exercise of inventive faculty, and without departing from the principles and concepts of the invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited, except as by the claims set forth below.